Researchers have completed the most detailed study yet of how much tidal power could be generated by turbines placed in the Pentland Firth, between mainland Scotland and Orkney, and estimate 1.9 gigawatts (GW) could be available.
The in-depth assessment by engineers at the Universities of Oxford and Edinburgh offers valuable insights into how to develop and regulate this clean energy resource effectively.
The Pentland Firth is a prime candidate to house marine power projects because of its tidal currents, which are among the fastest in the British Isles.
Engineers say that their study improves on previous estimates of the generating capacity of turbines embedded in the Firth – ranging from 1 to 18 GW – which were too simplistic or based on inappropriate models. Researchers calculated that as much as 4.2 GW could be captured, but because tidal turbines are not 100 per cent efficient, they say that 1.9 GW is a more realistic target.
To exploit the Firth's full potential, turbines would need to be located across the entire width of the channel. In order to minimise the impacts on sea life and shipping trade, a number of individual sites have been identified for development by the UK Crown Estate, which will lease these sites to tidal energy firms.
Researchers have pinpointed locations where turbines would need to be positioned for the Firth to meet its full energy production potential.
The research was commissioned and funded as part of the Energy Technologies Institute's Performance Assessment of Wave and Tidal Array Systems project (PerAWAT).
Professor Alistair Borthwick, of the School of Engineering at the University of Edinburgh, who worked on the research, said: "Our research builds on earlier studies by analysing the interactions between turbines and the tides more closely. This is a more accurate approach than was used in the early days of tidal stream power assessment, and should be useful in calculating how much power might realistically be recoverable from the Pentland Firth."
Professor Guy Houlsby of the Department of Engineering Science, University of Oxford, said: "The UK enjoys potentially some of the best tidal resources worldwide, and if we exploit them wisely they could make an important contribution to our energy supply. These studies should move us closer towards the successful exploitation of the tides."
Catriona Kelly | EurekAlert!
Making magnets flip like cats at room temperature
21.07.2016 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
NASA eyes first-ever carbon-nanotube mirrors for CubeSat telescope
13.07.2016 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Munich Physicists have developed a novel electron microscope that can visualize electromagnetic fields oscillating at frequencies of billions of cycles per second.
Temporally varying electromagnetic fields are the driving force behind the whole of electronics. Their polarities can change at mind-bogglingly fast rates, and...
Breakup of continents with two speed: Continents initially stretch very slowly along the future splitting zone, but then move apart very quickly before the onset of rupture. The final speed can be up to 20 times faster than in the first, slow extension phase.phases
Present-day continents were shaped hundreds of millions of years ago as the supercontinent Pangaea broke apart. Derived from Pangaea’s main fragments Gondwana...
Scaffolding and specialised workers help with the delivery – Heidelberg biochemists gain new insights into biogenesis
A type of scaffolding on which specialised workers ply their trade helps in the manufacturing process of the two subunits from which the ribosome – the protein...
Scientists at the Helmholtz Zentrum München have developed a new mass spectrometry imaging method which, for the first time, makes it possible to analyze hundreds of metabolites in fixed tissue samples. Their findings, published in the journal Nature Protocols, explain the new access to metabolic information, which will offer previously unexploited potential for tissue-based research and molecular diagnostics.
In biomedical research, working with tissue samples is indispensable because it permits insights into the biological reality of patients, for example, in...
Chemists at the University of Basel have succeeded in using computer simulations to elucidate transient structures in proteins. In the journal Angewandte Chemie, the researchers set out how computer simulations of details at the atomic level can be used to understand proteins’ modes of action.
Using computational chemistry, it is possible to characterize the motion of individual atoms of a molecule. Today, the latest simulation techniques allow...
15.07.2016 | Event News
15.07.2016 | Event News
11.07.2016 | Event News
22.07.2016 | Information Technology
22.07.2016 | Physics and Astronomy
22.07.2016 | Life Sciences